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Jiri Karlik: “Friends Restaurant can call its craft beer”

The brewery in the Minsk Friends restaurant has been operating since 2014. The equipment of the Czech manufacturer Pacovske Strojirny is installed here. A specially invited brewer from the Czech company Czech Brewmasters s.r.o Jiri Karlik set up the production process. Each year, he continues to visit Friends to conduct an audit. During his recent visit, we managed to meet and find out how much time it takes to develop a new variety and why women began to consume more beer.

Cooperation with the restaurant began after the equipment was purchased, so the main task that stood before me was to debug technological processes.

The first year and a half I worked continuously, now I come every six months to a two-three-day audit. To maintain a high level of beer quality, it is necessary to control each process. Proper operation of the equipment, adherence to technological processes and the professionalism of the brewer are the three main whales on which a successful brewery rests.

Development of a new beer
From the creation of the recipe to the implementation, several months pass. From brewing to bottling, the timing varies: if we brew bottom-fermented beer (for example, Copper Ax), it takes two months, top-fermented beer (for example, Lion) – one and a half.

Own brewery provides an opportunity to pamper guests with fresh beer. It lacks chemical additives, which are sometimes sinned by large manufacturers in order to speed up the beer production process.

The ability to experiment with tastes is another significant advantage. Small production volumes allow you to quickly switch: released one variety, launch the second, develop the third.

Craft beer
In my opinion, what is done with the soul can be considered craft. What is done by hand, in small volumes. Beer becomes unique when the brewer is in awe of the process of its production.

For me, the participation of large beer brands in craft beer festivals is not entirely clear – after all, they have a different scale, a different focus.

Friends restaurant can call its beer craft: production volumes and the approach to developing new varieties correspond to the concept of craft.

The work of the brewer is the optimal balance of creativity and routine tasks.
Beer is a complex living product. Unlike non-alcoholic drinks, where following a certain recipe allows you to always get the same result, there are many nuances in the production of beer. So, the chemical processes that occur during the fermentation period are difficult to control – here the experience and skill of the brewer, his intuition, are important.

At the same time, there are many standard actions that are repeated from cooking to cooking: heating to a certain temperature, washing, etc.

It is always worth remembering that strict adherence to technological processes is the basis on which innovative solutions can then be strung.

Favorite beer
In Friends I like Black Square the most. By the way, here it is in incredible demand. This is a little surprising: as a rule, the consumption of dark lager is 5-10% of the consumption of light. In the case of the “Black Square” – the figure increases to 30%.

I also love “Copper Ax” – it is light, strong. I am sure that many people like it.

Jiri Karlik
Beer based cocktails
I love a clean drink, but have nothing against cocktails. If the bartender is versed in beer, able to catch its taste and complement the successful ingredients – you can get an interesting result.

In Friends, the bartender treated me to the Bir Syringe cocktail, and I was impressed. Beer began to play with new taste sensations, although the combination is quite simple – “beer + lemon juice + orange spritz syrup”.

Historically, people have developed the belief that beer is a male drink, and ladies prefer other alcoholic drinks like cocktails or wine.

According to recent data, beer consumption by women has increased significantly. And this is awesome. Down with frames and stereotypes! A fragile girl can enjoy the Indian pale-ale just like an adult handsome man – a light raspberry lambic. Beer is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and its moderate use will only benefit.

Over the five years of work in the restaurant, 32 beers were brewed. Four of them are in a constant line: light lager, dark lager, ale, wheat beer. In addition, the mini-brewery regularly produces seasonal varieties. In the fall, the presentation of the new – New England IPA. Beer will have a pronounced aroma of hops, but not too bitter.

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